Radio opera

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The radio opera (also radio opera ) is a special form of the opera music genre . In contrast to this, the radio opera is not staged on a stage , but produced in a radio studio for broadcasting on the radio . Like the related radio play, it is therefore limited to acoustic means of representing the action. These special conditions are taken into account in the composition, so these are not conventional operas that have been adapted for radio broadcast. Funkoper is to opera like a radio play to stage drama . The "radio play with music", which developed into an independent genre in the 1920s, can be seen as a preliminary form.

As early as the mid-1920s, operas from opera houses were broadcast live on the radio. Programs were also created in which existing operas from the repertoire were set up specifically for radio, for example by adding a narrator. The radio play also sought to explore the possibilities of music early on. In some cases, such as Walter Gronostay's radio play mit Musik Mord (1929), the music is the variable that structures and determines the text.

Gustav Kneip's fairy tale opera Christkinds Erdenreise , which was broadcast on December 24, 1929 by Westdeutsche Rundfunk AG (WERAG) , is considered to be the very first radio opera . The decisive initial of a dramatized, funky music form that does justice to the new medium Rado is Der Lindberghflug from 1929 based on a text by Bertolt Brecht and with music by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith .

This form of opera had a renewed heyday in the 1950s on public broadcasting in the Federal Republic of Germany and some other western European countries, after which its distribution decreased to the point of today's insignificance.


Some radio operas were subsequently set up for the stage.

Another special form of performance is television opera .


  • Lydia Jeschke: From all over the world. Technology and progress in the radio opera. In: Nils Grosch (Hrsg.): Aspects of modern music theater in the Weimar Republic. Waxmann, Münster et al. 2004, ISBN 3-8309-1427-X , pp. 193-207.